The search for a sunscreen that doesn't leave an ashy cast is common, so you're not alone in your frustration. You are still vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer even if your melanin levels are higher. Everyone has to use sunscreen, and it should be effective for people of all skin tones. Regardless of skin tone, everyone should use sunscreen, and we must all work to dispel the myths surrounding its application.
It can be intimidating to decipher ingredients and predict how the next tube of mineral sunscreen will look on your skin, but finding the best sunscreen is preferable to not wearing any. Here is where you can benefit from knowing some sunscreen basics and making a more educated choice. Dermatologist Corey L. Hartman helped us answer some of the most frequently asked questions about sunscreen for black women.
Mineral Vs. Chemical Sunscreen Which is Better?
Both chemical and physical (or mineral) sunscreens exist. Mineral sunscreens often have titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, while chemical sunscreens may combine oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octocrylene, or octisalate. You should apply a layer of physical sunscreen to shield your skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation. On the other hand, chemical sunscreen works by absorbing UV light, turning it into heat, and then letting it escape your skin.
Since zinc can cause some discoloration (whiteness or ashiness) on darker skin tones, chemical sunscreens may be more appealing. But Dr. Hartman says that despite their cosmetic advantages, there are better options than chemical sunscreens. He notes that because they are chemical-free, people are less likely to experience contact dermatitis while benefiting from their effectiveness.
It is hard to tell which ingredient in chemical sunscreen someone is allergic to, however, it is estimated that 25% of the population is sensitive to at least one of the chemicals in chemical sunscreen. As it turns out, mineral sunscreens are the best.
Mineral sunscreens have many advantages over chemical sunscreens. You don't have to wait 20–30 minutes for them to absorb into your skin before they start protecting you from the sun. You can reapply mineral sunscreens throughout the day without worrying about ruining your makeup.
So, Which Mineral Sunscreens Won't Make You Ashy?
Physical sunscreen has many benefits but has severe drawbacks, such as being difficult to apply and leaving a white cast. Finding a mineral sunscreen that effectively blocks UV rays and doesn't alter your skin's color is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen and Supergoop! Mineral Mattescreen Sunscreen was my top pick, so I recommend these if you're on the lookout.
The Biossance sunscreen may appear white in the bottle, but it absorbed well and had a lovely fragrance when applied to my skin. Supergoop!'s Mattescreen, which appeared tan in the bottle, mixed well with my tan. My skin felt a little dry after using Supergoop!, so it's best to pair it with a moisturizer.
Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen by La Roche Posay and Elta MD are two brands that Dr. Hartman suggests. He recommends Elta MD UV Elements and Elta MD UV Replenish because, he says, Elta MD has invested the most in research and development into its sunscreens.
But Wait, is Sunscreen Still Necessary Even When You're Indoors?
Generally speaking, individuals don't think they need to use sunscreen when they're inside. However, Dr. Hartman says that is not the case. The sun's rays can still damage your skin even inside your home if you're standing close to a window. Therefore, sunscreen is still needed even when you're inside.
The longer you spend in front of a screen, the more blue light you're exposed to, which can cause skin damage and speed up aging. The best defense against this is a combination of antioxidants (such as vitamin C) and physical sunscreen.
Sunscreen is an essential part of any skincare routine. Whether you opt for a physical or chemical sunscreen, daily use is essential to protecting your skin from UV damage. Bluntly, you have no reason not to take skincare seriously.
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